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Window Box | cheap troughs and a beautiful basket

December 12, 2011

Part two of my window box diary, which I’m currently keeping for the Guardian.

OCTOBER

I’ve bought my window box.  It’s 56cm long, 12cm wide and 10cm deep.  Actually, I’ve been greedy and got two.  The other is 36 x 12 x 10cm.  At first I dreamed of rustic wood and aged zinc, but I’m a girl on a budget so I headed to the pound shops on Seven Sisters Road instead.

My cheap troughs are plastic ones, but they’re sturdy and surprisingly good looking.  They’re a creamy terracotta colour, with curved edges and gently curling top lips.  Best £2 I’ve ever spent.

I deliberated for hours about where to position the planters.  My flat is tiny and options are limited.  Our windows open outwards and the window ledges slant.  Plants have been knocked from the kitchen before, never to be seen again.  I don’t own the flat and want to avoid drilling holes in rented walls if possible.  It’s tricky, but a decision has finally been made.

Only half of the bathroom window opens, meaning part of its ledge is immune to knocks.  This is where the smaller box will sit.  It can nestle back safely against the window without sliding down the sloping ledge.  It’s not an ideal location.  The glass is frosted and invariably curtained with condensation, but it’s beside a window that’s often open.  Steamy showers will end with views of flowers.  Nice.

I’ve turned the flat roof outside the bathroom window into a garden and this is where the larger window box will sit – on the roof garden fence, close to its cousin on the bathroom ledge.  A romantic soul once bought me some adjustable window box hooks as a Valentine’s gift.  They grip onto the fence without the need for tools and provide secure support for a container.  You could try a window box hanger or adjustable brackets.

Not everyone has a window ledge or balcony edge.  Imagining I’m without both, I’ve decided to include a hanging container in my window box project too.  You could get something inoffensive for 99p, spend more on something made from sweet wrappers  or attach something to a drainpipe.

I’m going to fill a beautiful old picnic basket that I found discarded on the street with plants and hang it from a hook.  I won’t fill it with soil because one day I may fill it with sandwiches and champagne, so I’ll tuck pots inside it instead.  The window boxes and basket are now in position and I’ve created about 100cm x 12cm of growing space.  Now I need to think about the plants…

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